Traffic makes its way in the rain over the Golden Gate Bridge on Feb. 17 in San Francisco. (Eric Risberg/AP)

The San Francisco Bay area can take a load off. There are four months left in what meteorologists call the “water year,” but already the city of ferryboats and suspension bridges has received more rain than in an entire normal year.

Overachievers.

We weather nerds made up the water year because the rainy season tends to be winter, which spans two calendar years. Shifting the water year by six months means we can look back at the year and see what a full winter was like, instead of portions of two different winters.

So from July 1 to June 30, downtown San Francisco typically sees 23-24 inches of rain. This year, the city’s rainfall total is already 25.61 inches — 2 inches beyond their quota.

In fact, through Feb. 21, San Francisco usually only accumulates 17 inches, so it’s running nearly 10 inches above average.

Even if it clocks in totally normal rainfall for the rest of the year, it would still be a stone’s throw from having one of the top 10 wettest years on record.

But if things continue as they have been — i.e. storm after storm after storm — then the Bay Area can expect to easily set a top 10 record in 2016-2017. The National Weather Service is predicting around 2 inches through next Tuesday alone.

Peering further into the future, there’s good reason to believe that the rain is not going to let up. Forecast models have been hinting at yet another weekend storm slated for Sunday and Monday. Though there’s still quite a bit of uncertainty in that forecast, the big-picture weather pattern is going to stay favorable for rain storms in California through at least the first week of March.


The upper-level weather pattern looks like it’s going to stay favorable for low-pressure systems/rain storms in the Western U.S. through at least the first week of March. In this image, blue areas mean low pressure is likely. (models.weatherbell.com)